"This is a BIG deal for Owatonna!" proclaimed Brad Meier, president of the Owatonna Area Chamber of Commerce and Tourism (OACCT) on Twitter over the announcement of plans for a Marriott Courtyard hotel in downtown Owatonna. The project was announced at Tuesday's Owatonna City Council meeting. Construction would start as early as summer of 2021 with a projected opening date in June of 2022.

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In the weekly e-newsletter Tuesday Talk from the OACCT, Meier writes, "The hotel project has been a vision for downtown for many years starting with retired Federated employee Steve Judd who has long had a vision for the 200 block of North Cedar."

"Plans also include a new restaurant in the former Jerry's location and a spot for Old Town Bagels in or near their current location," states Meier. The hotel will occupy roughly half of the 200 block of North Cedar and continue along Pearl Street.

Hamilton Real Estate Group CEO Mac Hamilton addressed the council Tuesday and has "secured the multiple properties required to complete the project and is in the process of finalizing a purchase agreement with the City of Owatonna on the former theater lot," says Meier.

Community Development Director for Owatonna said, "This is a big announcement in the redevelopment of downtown Owatonna adding a major amenity, a high end hotel and restaurant. This property will attract additional visitors and business travel to our community."

Hamilton thanked city leaders "especially Greg Kruschke and Troy Klecker in the Community Development department," writes Meier, "Hamilton has completed three other projects in Owatonna including South Pointe I and II apartments and 111 East Vine apartments in downtown."

Read the full Tuesday Talk newsletter for updates on business activity and news from OACCT members.